A growing body of research indicates that there is a connection between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorders (SUD). Of adolescents and adults with with SUD, 30% to 50% and 15% to 25%, respectively, also have ADHD. Compared to individuals with SUD alone, adolescents and adults with ADHD and SUD have greater drug use severity, greater difficulty achieving abstinence, and higher rates of relapse.

The association between ADHD and SUD begs the question of whether treatment of ADHD in childhood lowers the risk of developing SUD. Numerous controlled studies have shown that psychostimulant treatment of ADHD improves school performance, psychosocial functioning, and associated behavior problems. More recent studies show that treatment of ADHD may reduce the risk of adolescent SUD by as much ...

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